Will Sharing Drone Technology with Pakistan be a Better War Strategy for the U.S.?

by Sidrah Zaheer on 9/8/2012

To avoid sending troops inside Pakistan to kill terrorists by hunting them down, the United States has been using drone attacks to do the same. But as a result of these constant droning, more civilians are being killed than actual terrorists. On the contrary, with an increase in these drone attacks, more terrorists are revolting with renewed hatred for America. It is easier for bereaved of those killed to be recruited by these already brain-washed extremists. Thus, drone attacks are not helping to curb terrorism, but bolstering its increment.

The cost is paid by the people alone, more than the U.S. being hurt by the terrorist activities that also target high-value areas of Pakistan military. These drone attacks were first introduced in 2004 by the Bush administration, but back then they were not frequent. The current administration of Obama has put a rise in drone attacks so much that the year 2010 can be called the year of the drones, when 993 people were killed in 118 drone strikes. On top of it all, drone attacks are in total violation of the International Law and sovereignty of Pakistan. Thus, these illegal drone attacks lose their validity on both aspects of their purposefulness and abiding by Pakistan’s sovereign rights.

Despite Pakistan’s continuous pleas to stop them, the U.S. is determined to carry on regardless of no results. Not to mention the destruction of environment and natural habitat for many animals. These drone attacks are completely inhumane and can be considered as a war crime even according to the US Military Law of War Deskbook. There is a denial within this U.S. administration and they have tried to take the guilt away by lessening the number of civilian casualties by 84%. If the U.S. is so much insistent on attacking these terrorists through means of drone strikes only, then a wise move would be to hand over the drone technology to Pakistan Army which can best place targets and achieve maximum expected results with minimum collateral damage to people, animals, and environment.

Also in this way, it will put a hold on rising anti-American sentiments amongst the targeted areas. By this, the U.S. is vilifying itself without the enemy’s efforts. Not being able to gauge the sensitivity of this issue is an indication on part of the American policy-makers that they are losing sight of the right strategy to withdraw from this war. Thus, with the pace at which the drone attacks are taking place, the NATO forces will find it difficult to withdraw in the set time frame of 2014, as terrorists are still not flinching from their objectives. In the recent U.S. presidential debates between President Obama and the republican nominee, Mitt Romney, there are hardly tough questions asked about Afghanistan.

It will not be wrong to say that the U.S. policy makers and intellectuals have forgotten about the perils of the forsaken soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. If President Obama gets re-elected for the second term in the Oval Office, his administration will cross over to the year 2016. So far, there is no indication of any change in strategy about the war. There is an English adage that says not to change horses in the middle of a stream and the American voters are already tilting toward President Obama seeing his opponent is comparatively less satisfactory in performance. But the legitimate reason to continue with drone attacks is blackening the U.S. credibility. The U.S. is being criticized by the Western experts for their strategy acknowledging it as a failure, hence saying this is not an agenda on part of the Pakistani analysts.


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– author of 2 posts on Registan.net.

A realist-idealist who hopes with reality check, Sidrah Zaheer is a freelance journalist who is unflinching to tell the truth she believes the world needs to know about issues she thinks the world must focus on. You can email her at sidrahsiddiqui@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @SidrahZaheer

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